From Grand Marais to Isle Royale

Sometimes Gracefully Grand Marais

Welcome! To the post where Gracie shares a whole lot of photos and tries to navigate through them all in a somewhat understandable manner! Buckle up, kids. We’re starting in Minnesota and then {technically} ending in Michigan. Keep your hands, arms, and legs inside the hypothetical vehicle at all times.

So! Minnesota!

After leaving Tettegouche State Park, our family caravan drove north to Grand Marais, aka the sweetest little North Shore town in all of good ol’ Minnesota. We checked into our rooms and then headed straight to the harbor to see the sunset and take in the awesomeness that is Lake Superior. There was a local band playing on the shoreline, food trucks lining the streets, and lots of people walking their dogs along the boardwalk {puppies galore, my friends…}. Darrin and I sat on the lake’s shoreline rocks, humming the tune of “Wagon Wheel” with the band while the sun set behind the hills and took with it the summer heat. I don’t know how or when or where, but I’m convinced that Darrin and I will own a cabin one day. Not the kind of cabin that’s frequently highlighted in Hollywood horror movies {Friday the 13thSecret WindowThe Cabin in the Woods…etc}, but more of a nicer, relaxing, Cheaper By the Dozen 2 kind of cabin {you bet I saw it…Steve Martin, you guys…}. Fun family memories and bonding moments included. I am such a fan of large bodies of water with beautiful harbors and marinas. We spent part of the evening hiking to the Grand Marais lighthouse across the harbor and dangling our feet above the waters. There’s nothing like a pastel sunset over a calm, vast lake. Makes the world that I like to think I’ve “figured out” seem suddenly much more mysterious…and I’m okay with that.

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And now, onward and eastward! To Michigan!

Or, rather, to Isle Royale!

Isle Royale is a beautiful national park located on an island in the northwest corner of Lake Superior. We woke up early the next morning, threw on our hiking gear, and hopped onto The Sea Hunter for a 2 hour boat ride across the great lake. The boat ride was a bit a lot chillier than I anticipated. Lake Superior is one of the coldest Great Lakes, so I suppose I should have assumed that my legs and fingers would be freezing as we cruised across the waters. Darrin wrapped me in whatever rain coat or sweatshirt he had packed in his backpack, then laughed when he saw me bundled up and threatened to toss me overboard. He’s just such a romantic.

The sun was out when we reached Isle Royale and continued shining for the rest of the day. We spent most of the afternoon on a guided nature hike led by one of the park’s forest rangers. She kept referring to Isle Royale as “The Island,” which, I’ll admit, gave me a slight case of the heebie-jeebies. Shutter Island, anyone??

I’m just on a roll with these movie references. But anyways. Back to nature.

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The entire island had this green glow that had its own kind of summer magic. Cheesy? Absolutely. But that’s the truth, folks. Some parts of the hike felt like we had been transported to Neverland, and I half expected Peter Pan and the Lost Boys to jump out from behind a tree. Darrin’s little cousins thought that the woods looked a bit more like Pooh’s One Hundred Acre Forest, so we spent the hike talking about what we’d say to Tigger if he bounced onto our path. There’s something so creative and imaginative about nature…no wonder so many writers have found imaginative inspiration after spending a little time with the trees.

After a beautiful day visiting Isle Royale, we made it back to Grand Marais just in time for pizza. And congrats to YOU for making it to the end of this crazy long post. You definitely deserve a doughnut. Or some other guilty pleasure pastry.

More {yes. even more.} pictures from our trip to come! Thanks for reading! 🙂

5 Comments

  • Reply By The Shore, Life & Style August 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    These photos, what beauty, love trips like this. We’re lucky to live across the street from the ocean and the most beautiful forested trails. One day though, I really hope to visit Michigan!! xoxo

  • Reply Haley Valerie August 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Beautiful pictures!

    Haley
    haleyvalerie.com

  • Reply Nicole Layne August 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    These pictures are beautiful especially the sunset ones in the beginning! It looks like you had a great vacation!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

  • Reply Auna August 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Such beautiful photos!!! Looks like you had a wonderful trip!

    xxAuna | http://simplyauna.com

  • Reply jennifer prod August 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    jon and i loved our trip to the north shore so much that we pinky-swore one another we’d make it an annual trip (to take place each and every may). and Isle Royale? never heard of it, but that might have to get added to our itinerary! gorgeous photos, per usual <3

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